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Chernow examines the forces that made dynasties like the Morgans, the Warburgs, and the Rothschilds the financial arbiters of the early 20th century and then rendered them virtually obsolete by century's end. As he traces the shifting balance of power among investors, borrowers, and bankers, Chernow evokes both the grand theater of capital and the personal dramas of its most fascinating protagonists. Here is Siegmund Warburg, who dropped a client in the heat of a takeover deal because the man wore monogrammed shirt cuffs, as well as the imperious J.P. Morgan who, when faced with a federal antitrust suit, admonished Theodore Roosevelt to "send your man to my man and they can fix it up." And here are the men who usurped their power, from the go-getters of the 1920s to the masters of the universe of the 1980s. Glittering with perception and anecdote, The Death of the Banker is at once a panorama of 20th century finance and a guide to the new era of giant mutual funds on Wall Street.
PRAISE FOR The Death of the Banker:
“For anyone interested in the world behind the business-page headlines, this is the book to read.”
“This surprisingly concise (but no less illuminating) volume opens with an expanded version of a speech on ‘the dwindling role of the financial intermediary’ that he presented early in 1997; it concludes with condensed versions of his earlier books on J. P. Morgan and the Warburgs that show how the essence of financial power has changed in the 20th century.”
—Business and Investment
“Some fastidious fans will inevitably call it ‘Financial History for Dummies’ or ‘Chernow Lite.’ But I call it a delight—an intimate chat with a writer so thoughtful and well informed about his topic that one closes the book feeling far more worldly and ntelligent than when one opened it.”
—New York Times Book Review